Attacks on firefighters in Falkirk has dropped

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There have been no attacks on firefighters carrying out their duties in the Falkirk area in the last two years.

As the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service prepares for its busiest time of the year, the latest figures show that the region is bucking a worrying trend by having no attacks, as these are sadly on the rise in council areas across the country.

The number of attacks on firefighters during emergency call-outs have risen by a third – 36 per cent – across Scotland in just a year.

There were 72 attacks in 2018/19, including eight in which staff were physically abused and one which resulted in injury.

In 48 instances missiles were thrown at fire crews or fire engines and 15 saw staff subjected to verbal abuse.

However, in Falkirk, figures show numbers have dropped in recent years with the last reported attacks of this nature in 2016/17 when there were two and there were five the year before that.

In recent years legislation has resulted in tougher sentences being available for those who assault blue-light workers.

The Emergency Workers Act enables penalties of up to 12 months imprisonment, a £10,000 fine, or both, to be imposed following conviction for offences against Scottish Fire and Rescue Service staff.

For more serious incidents, other offences such as assault can be used by the courts to impose even tougher sentences.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: “All attacks against our emergency services, including our fire and rescue service officers, are despicable and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.

“There will be a zero tolerance approach to attacks on our firefighters.”

There were more than 900 attacks on firefighters responding to emergencies across the UK last year – roughly the same number as the year before.

Firefighters say attacks often intensify around Bonfire Night.